(Editor’s note: During the month of July, the ClassicCars.com Journal is publishing a series of stories about summer road trips. Today, we share Volkswagen’s top 5 scenic drives fitting for a summer road trip. In addition to our own tales from the road, we’re eager to share your stories about summer road trips you’ve done, with family, in a classic car, perhaps in a classic car when it was just the family cruiser. Please submit your stories and a few photos from your trip to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
In celebration of launching its new electric-powered SUV, the ID.4, Volkswagen created a list of 5 scenic drives to take this summer that are EV-friendly but, of course, you can use the same routes for nice drives in your gasoline-fueled classics.
So, whether you plug in or fuel up, take a look at these drives that offer beautiful views and interesting attractions:
Miami to Key West, Florida
Route: The Overseas Highway (Southernmost leg of U.S. 1)
Distance: 113 miles one-way
The Florida Keys was once only accessible by boats until 1912 when industrialist Henry Flagler connected Miami and Key West with his East Coast Railroad. Unfortunately, the railroad was destroyed by a hurricane in 1935.
The government converted the ruined tracks into highway U.S. 1 that links Key West and all the islands in between to the mainland.
“Mostly over water, as the name suggests, the road offers travelers stunning ocean views and some of the best sunrises and sunsets anywhere in the world,” VW says. “Not to mention access to underwater coral reefs, marinas where you can charter a boat to fish for Tarpon and other big game, and some of the best food you can find in the southeast.
San Francisco to Monterey, California
Route: Pacific Coast Highway to Skyline Boulevard to PCH
Distance: 170-200 miles round trip
Headed to Monterey’s car week in August? Consider taking this coastal route filled with ocean views, towering redwood forests and wineries.
Starting in San Francisco, you’ll take the coastline highway up to Half Moon Bay. From there, you’ll drive inland on Skyline Boulevard (U.S. 35) that runs atop the mountains separating the San Mateo Peninsula from the Pacific and “is filled with curvy, narrow roads and dramatic mountain views.”
Then, you’ll hop on Route 17 and take that all the way to Monterey.
Boston to Provincetown, Massachusetts
Route: U.S. Route 6/Route 6A
Distance: 118 miles one-way
Take a trip through Cape Cod and enjoy the peninsula’s small villages, relaxing beaches, dunes, marshes and incredible seafood.
After making your way through the Cape, you’ll hop on Route 6A, originally a Native American trade route from the 1700s, soak in the seaside views and end up in Provincetown.
Los Angeles to Big Bear, California
Route: State highway 18/Rim of the World
Distance: 117 miles one-way
If you’re looking for a more mountainous route, head to Big Bear Lake from Los Angeles by taking the Narrow State Highway 18 through the San Bernardino Mountains.
“Mountains, lakes, and – on a clear day – even the Pacific Ocean can be seen form vantage points along the way.”
Washington D.C. to Asheville, North Carolina
Route: The Blue Ridge Parkway
Distance: 500 miles one-way
Volkswagen saved the longest route for last but ensures us that nature lovers will be “awed by the overlooks” and forest canopies that shade the route in the summer.
The Blue Ridge Parkway’s construction was part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal to help Americans find work after the Great Depression. The long stretch connects the Shenandoah Nation Park in Virginia with the Great Smokey Mountains National Park in North Carolina.
“The stretch is also a bird watchers’ paradise, with over 50 species found along the highway along.”
VW also notes that EV chargers and gas stations aren’t found directly on the parkway, so plan your stops ahead of time.
Do you have another summertime-favorite scenic route? Let us know in the comments.